10 Creative Ways to Use SMS Discounts to Drive Sales in Shopify

SMS marketing has the potential to be a very powerful means of communication especially if in the hands of a savvy e-commerce merchant. Text messages let you create a powerful touchpoint that reaches your customers both offline and online, in a lightning-fast, personal, and direct way.

It is quicker than most channels, has a lower cost, it is more personal, less invasive and very popular for users of all ages and any type of mobile device.
 

What makes SMS so powerful?

SMS gives value to both merchants and customers. Here is why: 

  • No app installation or internet connection required. Doesn’t require customers to install apps or have an Internet connection to receive messages.

  • 98% open rate and 45% response rates. You can rest assured that your message will get seen and read by your customer. (Source)

  • It only takes a few seconds to read. Customers find it more convenient, a striking 66% of engaged users prefer to get contacted by brands with text messages. (Source

  • Text messages are personal. Customers let you into an exclusive and intimate space that they only share with their friends and relatives when they agree to receive texts from you. Establishing long term relationships becomes easier and your customers may even refer you by forwarding your text messages.

  • Actionable conversion channel. Customers instantly grasp the message and it only takes them one click to continue shopping or recover their abandoned checkout.

  • Gain new subscribers from keywords, checkout and custom signup forms. There are multiple ways to receive customer consent and phone number opt-ins for news & exclusive deals via text messages, instead of emails. 

  • SMS is an affordable and simple way to reach out to clients and can be used to improve your customer service, no matter how many or few people work for your company.
     

Combined with a very irresistible personalized discount, SMS marketing can help your business build trust and loyalty, promote brand recognition, and gain a great return on investment.

This blog post will remind you of 10 creative ways to use personalized discounts to increase sales and customer engagement. Perhaps some of them are relevant to your brand as well? Scroll further to see what we have put together for you and you might just get a great idea for your next text marketing campaign.
 

Cash Discount, Percentage and Free Shipping

Cash discounts, fixed percentage and free shipping are probably three of the most popular go-to ways to make your customers feel appreciated, to attract new ones or to win old ones back. 

Being so popular, literally every store out there, from the smallest local grocery store to the giants, has relied on them on numerous occasions. So make sure, no matter what and how great your offer, to always stand out. Time your campaign right, study and pick your customers wisely, be precise and give them a clearly stated, limited-time offer.

And don’t forget - keep it short, keep it simple, keep it hot

Examples:

Template 1: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, order our Pamper Package with 15% discount and indulge in some well deserved self-care while at home! {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 2: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, sharpen your skills and become the BBQ Master Chef in town! Here's a $10 voucher to use on all our grill tool sets: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 3: Hey {FirstName}, check out the new fall collection at {SiteName}. Choose from 30+ stylish urban outfits. Enjoy free & contactless shipping! {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

 

Customer Loyalty Rewards

You always want to think about your most engaged customers, as loyalty is a two-way street. And SMS marketing could be the highway to establishing a good relationship with your customer, but it needs to be maintained closely and always with extra dash of care. 

Maybe give your customer a surprise pair of free gloves after they have purchased a scarf from you. Or send them exclusive deals. Keep them happy by offering them an extended discount they can use with their next purchase. Or propose that they take part in your exclusive competition to win one of many gifts. 

 

 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, being a Gold member has its perks: be the first to check out our latest holiday sale and get 25% OFF everything: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Bonus Info: Speaking of customer loyalty, SMSBump has a running integration with Yotpo, that enables you to invite people to join your loyalty program via SMS. It helps you drive repeat purchases and sustainable growth for your brand, as well as give customers a way to join, engage with, and share your brand community. 

See Drive More Repeat Sales with the SMSBump and Yotpo Loyalty for more information and guidelines.  

 

Abandoned Cart Offers

The average eCommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. That’s about three-quarters. It’s 6 slices of an 8-slice pizza.

Did you know that in 2019, 60% of customers who abandoned their carts did so because of high extra costs, such as shipping and other fees? 

What are some ways to tackle at least this issue and reduce cart abandonment?

Decrease the price of shipping fees for customers who have abandoned their cart right before checkout. Or omit them for purchases over a certain value. Or why not drop them altogether? You could also give your customer a long-standing offer  - say, “complete your purchase and get free shipping on your next order”.

{SiteName}: Hi {FirstName}, did you forget something? Your cart is almost expired! Get back, before items sell out. Complete your order now at: {AbandonedCheckoutUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

{SiteName}: Hello, {FirstName}. We noticed there were some items left in your cart. Complete your order now: {AbandonedCheckoutUrl}

Hi {FirstName}, you left {StoreName} without your purchase! Grab it now, before items sell out: {AbandonedCheckoutUrl}

 

Referral Programs 

Referral programs are a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Or in this case - to both reward your current customers and to have them, basically, do the heavy lifting for you, by inspiring them to invite their family members, friends, colleagues to connect with you and your business. 

Just some quick stats to show you exactly how powerful referral programs could be:

  • People are 4 times more likely to buy a certain thing when referred by a friend

  • 77% of consumers say they are more inclined to make a purchase if it was approved by a friend of family member

  • Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value, i.e. referral leads are not only easier to close but they help your business long-term.

 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, a new dress is always a great idea! Refer a friend, make them happy and get 20% OFF your next purchase with us: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

 

Holiday Promotions for Christmas, Black Friday, Halloween and more 

Always be relevant. It might seem like one of those things that just has you going “duuuh” but it is highly important that you take advantage of different holidays and holiday seasons to run your promotions and remain in the spotlight of important events. 

This means announcing your Christmas deals and discounts in advance and preparing your audience for the promotions you’re running during holiday season.

Template 1: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, our 48h Christmas flash sale starts NOW! Use code {DiscountCode} and enjoy 35% off selected items. Ho-Ho-Go! {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 2: {SiteName}: Hi {FirstName}, we've missed you! Easter Bunny is here with some exclusive offers! Of course, shipping & return are on us! {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 3: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, get exclusive access to our BF Grand Sale and enjoy a limited time VIP discount of up to 70%! Available at: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Important: Just don’t forget to time your campaign adequately, research and select your audience smartly, and give your customers hard-to-resist deals. 
 

Birthday Specials 

Is it your customer’s birthday? Or is it your store’s birthday? Or maybe it is your store and your customer’s first “subscription” anniversary. Treat them to a nice deal so they know they made the right decision by saying “Yes” to you. This also greatly helps in retaining your customers for a longer time when they see appreciation other brands don’t offer.

{SiteName}: Let's celebrate your special day together! 10% OFF on ALL party equipment and accessories for a night you won't forget: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.
 

And to make your customer’s experience even more delightful, SMSBump partners with ReConvert, a creative Shopify page builder that designs powerful Thank You pages after successful checkouts and allows merchants to collect customers’ birthdays to send them a gift on their special day.

Read how to install this integration and if you haven’t yet - start collecting your customer’s birthdays to make them feel even more cherished on their important day! 

 

Influencer Offers 

If there is one thing for sure in this world, it is that people tend to either want to look like, sound like, behave like, dress like their favorite singers/actors/musicians/artists etc. Nowadays, people have social media influencers to get inspired by. According to recent studies, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when debating over purchases.

It’s safe to say that collaborating with an influencer to popularize your brand is a good way to go about it. Have them promote your brand on their blog, vlog etc., while in return you can give them infinite discount opportunities and of course - return the favor and promote them as well. 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, get our "Irresistible" new scent - tested and approved by Kim Kardashian. Feel the glam and enjoy a 10% discount at: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

 

Re-engagement

Customer inactivity is probably one of the most common obstacles all businesses face. Do you have customers that purchased something from you but have been completely dormant since then? Yes, dormant.

Because they still are on the look-around, they still rummage through your site, they still have an account with you and haven’t cancelled their subscription, but just haven’t bought anything from you recently. Or they have, but you want to make sure they stick around for longer. 

 

How To Do That? 

1. Send them automated abandoned cart reminders with different offers. For instance:

  • First automation: 5 to 10 minutes after they have abandoned their cart - remind them about their products and give them free shipping 

Example: 

{StoreName} Hi, {FirstName}, are you still with us? Your cart is waiting for you. Check out in the next hour with FREE shipping: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out. 

 

  • Second automation: 1 hour after - offer them a 5% discount on their order 

Example:     

It is {StoreName} again, {FirstName}. Don’t forget about your swimsuit and shorts! Here is a 5% discount from us: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Text STOP to opt out.

 

  • Third automation: 1 day after - 10% discount 

Example: 

Hi, {FirstName}. Your cart is feeling very lonely. Finish your order in the next 24 hours and grab a 10% discount: {DiscountCodeUrl}.  Text STOP to opt out. 
 

Bonus tip: Combine this with a compelling Image grid, containing images of the products your customer has abandoned. Actions speak louder than words, after all. Or in this case - visuals speak more than words. See how.
 

2. Another way to try and bring back an inactive customer is by automating the delivery of winback messages, triggering 30 and 60 days after their last purchase. With that, why not give them a 10% discount on their next purchase as an incentive to come back to you. 

Example: 

Hey, {FirstName}, we haven’t heard from you in a long time. We miss you so grab our 10% discount and get a lovely new sweater: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Text STOP to opt out. 

 

3. You always want to keep your customers coming back to you. One way to do that is to enable the product upsell automations, i.e. to offer your customers promotions on specific items you think they might like, based on the last purchase they made. 

Example: 

{SiteName}: {FirstName}, congrats on your new set of plates! Do you want porcelain cups to go with them? Now with 10% OFF: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Text STOP to opt out. 

 

 

Product Bundling 

1 + 1 = more. 

The more, the merrier.

Product bundling is a good strategy to gently lead your customer into buying more than they have initially planned on. After all, you are just asking them if they need a bag to go with those shoes.

This way, not only do you have the chance to increase your profits and conversion rate, but you leave your customer satisfied, equipped and with the feeling they have stroke a great deal.

 

Example:

{StoreName}: Shoes + Bags = Eternal Love. {FirstName}, grab a pair of dazzling shoes and you'll get an amazing bag for only half the price: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Text STOP to opt out.  

 

Important: to avoid confusion and any issues, make sure to set up the link so it leads straight to the deal or the page on your website that contains all items your customers can select from to make the bundle. 

Go to our How to Add Discounts in SMS Marketing Campaigns and Automations article for the complete set of guidelines on how to include discounts in your text marketing campaigns. 

 

Subscription Product Discount Tips

Another genius way to use discounts is when a customer subscribes for or unsubscribes from your store. What do we mean by that? 

 

Successful Subscription Bonus

Did a person just subscribe to receive a box of goodies from you on a monthly basis? Go ahead and with the confirmation SMS - send them a 5% discount on their next month’s goodie box.
 

Example:

Hey, {FirstName}, your order is on its way! Thank you for choosing {StoreName}. Here is a 5% discount from us: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Text STOP to opt out.   

 

Cancelled Subscription Recovery

Or did somebody just unsubscribe - with the confirmation SMS that they have successfully cancelled their subscription - remind them they can always come back and get 5% off on their first order.
 

Example:

{StoreName}: Hey {FirstName}, your subscription has been cancelled. If you change your mind - renew your plan with 5% OFF: {DiscountCodeUrl}. Text STOP to opt out. 

 

This is where the SMSBump <> ReCharge integration would come in handy to your Shopify store. Installing the integration can help you maintain a great relationship with your subscribers not just by sending them discounts, but by keeping them in the know about their payments with upcoming charge SMS reminders.

 

Since one of the main problems of subscription-based business is the lack of proper notifications, now you can solve that with one of the most simple solutions out there - texts.

 

SMS, spice...

...and everything nice. As long as you are mindful about giving discounts as giving discounts is a tricky business. Simple math shows us that  with a 33% discount, you’ll need a 50% increase in sales to end up with the same revenue. And with a 50% discount, you’ll need to double your sales to keep revenue the same. 

So, again we emphasize the importance of careful timing, thorough customer research, compelling and attractive message, and of course - desirable offer. Short, simple, hot. Get started today!

Viktoria is a Content Creator at SMSBump. Besides writing for work and pleasure, she is an avid foodie, a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoys spending time at the beach.

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